Hello Baby!

If you’ve been following me for awhile, I’m sure you know by now that I occasionally write blog posts for my friend Taylor over at Not Just Another Teen Mom. Well, here comes another one!

This time, Taylor has put together a wonderful blog series where moms discuss their birthing stories. And what mom DOESN’T like to talk about their birth stories?! Whether good or bad, most of us will tell you every tiny little detail – sometimes we do it without you asking. I will do my best to limit some of the finer details (no talk of mucous plugs here) and I will try to keep them as short and sweet as I possibly can. Buuutttt, considering that I have two stories to tell and both labors lasted a few hours…. well, you know.

Here are my stories:

Baby J

He is four years old now, but I still remember the day he was born as though it happened minutes ago.

My labor began at home, ON my due date, right at 9:00 PM. Because he was my first child, I was way too excited to want to sleep! No way could I close my eyes – I needed to be timing contractions! They started off every 4-6 for the first hour and rapid increased to every 2-3 the next hour. By 11:00, I was calling my OB to let them know. They gave me the go ahead, so we grabbed our bags and loaded into the car.

After triage and getting admitted, my labor began to stall. I waited until morning to talk with my doctor and we decided to go with pitocin and breaking my water.

Around lunch time, they came in and got the pitocin started. A few hours later, they broke my water.

I wanted to go without an epidural, so I did my best to labor without it for as long as I could. By about 4:00 PM, my knuckles were white as I gripped the rails of my hospital bed with each contraction. My doc came in to check and see how much progress I had made and gave me a grim report. 5 cm. 5 FREAKING CENTIMETERS. After laboring forever and being in the worst pain I’d ever experienced… no. I asked them for the epidural and they brought someone in shortly.

My doctor (who I think was the biggest airhead in the hospital) said she would come back and check on me in a few hours. Four hours later, I was so numbed up from the middle of my abdomen down that I couldn’t feel when people touched my legs – not even pressure. Doctor Airhead came back in, glanced at my monitor, saw that my contractions were mere blips on the screen, and decided she’d come back in a few more hours. Didn’t even bother to check and see where I was at.

Not even 10 minutes after Doctor Airhead left, my wonderful, glorious, amazing nurse, Lauren, came in. They had just switched shifts and because it had been awhile since I was checked last, she decided to check me herself so she personally knew where I was at. Because I was all numbed up, she said she was just going to check while I laid on my side.

She lifted the sheet, pulled my legs apart, and slowly said, “Oh…”

She then closed my legs and began to slowly peel her gloves off while backing towards the door and saying, “I’m gonna go get the doctor… because we’re ready to deliver NOW.”

“NOW?!”

“Yes. Now.”

Then she bolted out of the room.

I thought it was some kind of weird joke. They told me I’d feel pressure. I felt nothing.

His poor, unsuspecting father, was heading into the bathroom when I said, “Hey. What do you see?” and pulled the sheet back…

“THAT’S HIS HEAD?!?!”
“Seriously?”
“NO, SERIOUSLY! THAT’S HIS HEAD! OH MY GOSH…”
“Are you playing with me right now?”
“NO!!! THAT’S HIS HEAD! RIGHT THERE!”

At this point, Lauren and another nurse rushed back in.

Lauren grabbed my legs, flipped me onto my back in one motion (I still have no clue how she did that…), and told me to push. No one dropped down the bottom half of the bed, the giant overhead light didn’t come down out of the ceiling, my feet didn’t go up in the stirrups… just push. My doctor wasn’t even there.

I looked at her like she was crazy and once again, she said, “Push… NOW!”

I gave the most half-assed push of my life (I seriously put in about the same amount of effort I would to pass gas… I still didn’t think they were serious) and he came FLYING out. Lauren caught him, cut the cord, and put him on my chest with a million blankets and told me to just keep rubbing him to keep him warm. I did. And the entire time, I was crying.

I took birthing classes, did my research, read books… none of them ever talked about it happening like this.

But there he was. And with a head full of dark hair.

J&M

Born at 40 weeks and 1 day: 7 lbs 8 oz, 21.5 inches long, 7:19 PM (exactly 15 minutes after my doctor left my room), and absolutely perfect.

Baby N

Now, her story is a little less exciting. ūüôā

I started laboring early in the morning with her, sometime around 6 or 7. I called my dad and let him know so he could come be with J while we were at the hospital, but told him to take his time. When we got to the hospital, it was about 10:30 AM. They took us back into triage where I did a whole lot of sitting and watching my contractions.

They were a little bit further apart, but strong. I had made some progress, but not as much as my doctor wanted to see before I was admitted (SHE was brilliant and compassionate… not an airhead). So my husband and I got up and started walking the halls of the hospital.

Let me just say that walking around with my husband while contracting was one of the funniest things ever. Every time I would pause to breathe through a contraction, he would pause with me. But there was one moment where he made me laugh so incredibly hard in the middle of a contraction that I seriously considered punching him.

He decided to quote a movie to me. So there I am, having a contraction, and he starts saying, “Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up! It’s baby time!”

I couldn’t breathe because I couldn’t stop laughing.

Right after that, we went back to triage and my doctor checked up on me and decided to go ahead and admit me.

Once again, after being admitted, my contractions began to spread out and my labor started to stall. They got me on pitocin and broke my water not long after. I was determined to make it through this one without the epidural.

I went until about 7:30 PM before I told my nurse that I felt like I was going to need to push soon. There was SO much pressure and I was to the point where I thought I was going to pass out and throw up at the same time every time I had a contraction. My nurse checked me and told me I was still sitting at 5 cm.

I remember thinking, “There is NO WAY I’m only at 5! This hurts so much more than it did with J!” After thinking a little bit, I told her to go ahead and bring someone in to do an epidural. I decided that if I was hurting that bad at 5 cm, I didn’t want to feel the next 5.

Shortly after, they sat me up to do the epidural. We waited for a contraction to pass, and then I felt the pinch of the needle. Instantly, another contraction started and there was SO much pressure. I began telling them they needed to hurry up because I needed to lay back down so I could push. My nurse kept trying to reassure me that I was only at 5 cm and it wasn’t possible for me to push yet.

As soon as they laid me back down, I said, “I need to push. I know my body. Will you please check?”

She checked again and said, “Oh. You’re complete! I’ll go get the doctor.”

Soon, I had my nurse, another nurse, my doctor, and a whole bunch of nursing students in the room. They got everything ready for her arrival, and then went to get my husband. Once he came back in the room, it was go time. After 3 good pushes, she was out. Her dad got to cut her cord, and they handed her up to me.

I remember my first thought being that she was so tiny and I was afraid I would break her. But she sure was perfect. No dark hair like her brother though. She’s my little blondie with blue eyes.

N&M

Born at 38 weeks and 4 days: 5 lbs 10 oz, 19 inches long, 8:15 PM, and beautiful in every way.

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“Thanks, but…

I don’t need your approval.”

This is something I’ve wanted to say for quite some time.

“Glad you feel that way, but I don’t really give a damn.”¬†

This is something I wish more parents would say.

I’m not saying that it’s something that should be directed at your kids. Nah. It doesn’t really apply. Well, in some situations. What I’m talking about is this: I wish more parents would say things like that to OTHER parents. Or hell, even their OWN parents! Some people like to stick their noses where they don’t belong and they need to be told to “butt out.”

I know that there are parents out there who definitely take this attitude when it comes to people making comments about their parenting skills – kudos to you. I, for one, USED to have those balls and lost them a few years back. However, I’m regaining them at a rapid pace. Kudos to me.

But seriously. My relationship with my son’s biological father has always been a strained one. Our relationship was full of belittlement, negativity, and put downs. Once we split, I began seeing my full potential and discovered the person I am. I rediscovered the world. It was amazing. I thought things were going pretty well, especially concerning our communication. However, I discovered that was NOT the case when I was handed court papers and we went to court because of a lack of communication. I had been accused of child neglect and it was simply because someone said a few things that were misinterpreted or taken in the completely wrong context.

Even though it was determined that all of the information was either false, misinterpreted, or taken out of context, it was still a terrible experience and it left me scarred.

Prior to that, I had no doubt about my skills as a mother. I knew I wasn’t perfect,¬†but I also knew I was doing my damn best, given the circumstances. I loved my son like no other, cared for him, provided everything I could, and I knew that I would do absolutely anything for him. That’s what makes a good mom, right?

Well, that whole situation left me wondering,¬†“Is it enough?”

I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of my situation but I will say that making ends meet was tough. But my son and I had food, water, a home, clothing… everything we needed. It wasn’t always easy, but we got by. Then I had a good turn of events happen – we moved into a house with my then boyfriend, now husband, and I started a new job that was giving me MUCH better pay. Things started getting really great, and then it went downhill when all that court stuff came up. It’s still tough to think about.

I’ve realized that I’m the type of person who, when I hear someone thinks negatively of me, will take a step back and wonder,¬†“What did I do to make them think this and what can I do to change that perception of me?”¬†Granted, I only do this if I actually CARE about their opinion. At that point in time, I did care what his father thought because I was trying to maintain a good relationship – for the sake of my son. So when all of those accusations started flying, I went overboard. I over-analyzed everything I did as a mom, I worried constantly about what other people thought of my parenting skills, I was cautious when it came to discipline – afraid that even the slightest correction would be seen as “abuse.”

Pardon my French, but it f*cking SUCKED. I had SO many great things going for me and I had such a difficult time enjoying them because I felt I HAD to worry. I spent years of my life walking around on eggshells while I was with his father; it’s why I LEFT. I spent at least another year and a half continuing to walk on eggshells because of him. I decided one day, a few months ago, that I was done being pushed around and made to feel as though I was inadequate as a mother. I am the best damn mother I possibly can be and THAT’S exactly who my children love and need – not this extra cautious and careful mother who is stressed to the max and has a fake smile plastered on her face, worrying constantly if she’s doing everything right.

Only thing is, it didn’t really hit me until a few days ago. I received an “apology” message which included something to the effect of “…you’re a good mom and I’m thankful for that.”

I read that and thought, “Thanks, but I don’t need your approval.”

FREEDOM!

I DON’T NEED YOUR APPROVAL.

It’s so SATISFYING to say that.

All that time I was worried, I KNEW I was a good mom and I knew I was doing a good job with my kids but I still worried. Having your child taken away over false accusations is one of the scariest things you can ever go through as a mom.¬†It’s a nightmare.

However, that nightmare has made me into a MUCH stronger woman and I thank God for that every single day. Honestly, it probably would have been much harder if it hadn’t been for all the praying I did.

I used to look back at everything and wonder,¬†“What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently?”¬†Like I said, I did care at one point about how he viewed me. But after years of watching the same pattern repeat itself over and over and over again, I’ve finally learned that it’s not ME, it’s HIM. As long as I’ve known him, he has been full of negativity, constantly questions the reasons behind acts of kindness, and has zero issue with putting others down to build himself up. With that being the case, I know he will continue to view me in a negative light (unless a meteor comes crashing down and knocks some sense into him) and since that’s more than likely how it’s going to be, I no longer¬†care how he views me.

I only care about how my son sees me and to him, I’m the “best Mommy ever” and that’s all I need to hear.

So instead of looking back and wondering where I went wrong, I now only look at my son (and daughter) and see everything I did RIGHT.

If anyone ever questions my parenting again, all I’ll say is, “See that¬†amazing little boy and beautiful baby girl¬†right there? They are proof of my parenting skills and you know what?¬†I’m doing a DAMN good job.

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